Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) | Left Hand Brewing Company

241 Reviews
Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rayek on 11-15-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 358
Photo of TheBigE5
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I have had a few beers that try to market their "smokey" flavors and in my limited experience this taste has been overwhelming and not enjoyable. The Fade to Black Smoke Baltic Porter finally gets it right. Left Hand has created a a nice porter with a hefty smoked nose and a lightly smoked finish.

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Photo of charlesmcd
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer got better with time. At first drink, it was a bit too poignant on the top end for me, but as it progressed, and the VERY evident smokey end notes came through, this beer became a winner in my book. It isn't a beer that I could drink a lot of at one time, but it was very enjoyable, and I would most definitely recommend.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack poured into a Snifter.

Picked this up on an attempted Dissident run to Colorado Liquor Mart. A not-bad consolation prize.

L: Pours a good motor-oil thick black with deep nut-brown head, 4-fingers on a straight pour. As it opens up, the head tans out into a lighter, near white fluffiness.

S: Burnt-toast bitterness, a touch watery, into a larger sweetness, then a larger bitterness. The bitterness and sweetness fade into one another, and then into nothing. For all this play between sweet and bitter there isn't much else going on.

T: Sweet up front into a bitter, smokey middle. This gives way to booze and then receding waves of bitterness. A touch thin, but good, if still somewhat 2 dimensional.

F: Thicker than it tastes, thinner than it looks, all in all about the right thickness for the brew.

D: Pretty damn enjoyable beer.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into The Bruery tulip. Drank at cellar temps.

Pours true black, with a thin brown head on top that fades quickly. Not much retention, but nice lacing from the ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Nose is very forward - smoke hits first, mingling with a dark caramel sweetness to bring forth notes of maple-glazed applewood-smoked bacon. A bit of orange zest comes out as well from the hops, as light alcohol and underlying chocolate.

Taste is quite good as well - campfire smoke pairs up with dark, slightly burnt caramel sweetness and orangey citrus coming through from the underlying hops. Finish comes through with a moderate hoppy bite and a lingering dryness, lightly bitter, with more smokey orange.

Mouthfeel is quite good as well, pairing up a moderately full body with a nice, soft carbonation that still has just enough sharp bite to get noticed.

Drinkability is good as well - the light hop bitterness could be toned just a bit given the smoke, but honestly, that's personal taste more than anything. Quality beer.

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Very dark, used motor oil body. Steady finger of lasting, dense, dark khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose of dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted coffee, earthy peat, and a hint of campfire.

Meaty, roasted malts up front. Coffee bitterness sits above smoky dark chocolate, roasted barley, and some earthy tobacco. Faint sweetness, with a little dark fruit in there, but the smoky, earthy roastedness steals the show (with an applause from this drinker). Flinty, lingering smoke, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee bitterness in the finish. Full-bodied, with a nice chewy feel. Terrific beer and a cool label to boot!

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Photo of homebrew311
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a series of beers I could get used to. I loved volume one and I absolutely love the fact that it is packaged in an affordable 6 pack (and very cool artwork).

A: pours pitch black, opaque, no light passage. Some cocoa colored head and a fair amount of lacing. Decent retention.

S: big notes of mequite smokiness up front paired with roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee. The smoke is center stage here but doesn't overpower.

T: the taste isn't quite as smokey as the nose suggests, rather it is loaded with roasted barley and cocoa powder character with highlights of smoke. Very well balanced, not too smokey. The finish is a touch sweet which is a nice end to a big roasty beer.

MF: medium body that leaves a silky texture on the palate. Mellow carbonation.

D: wow, this is a well crafted smoked beer, and as mentioned before, an insanely good value. I recommend this to any imperial stout/porter aficionado ..you will not be disappointed. This one is up there with the big boys of the style (Surly Smoke, Alaskan Smoked Porter)

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Photo of zeff80
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It has some nice retention and slowly receded to leave some nice ring so lace.

S - It smelled of smoked meats and woody notes. There was a mild roasty aroma.

T - It tasted of rich roasted malts with a mild smokiness - not as strong as the aroma. There is some grassy hop bite like Baltic Porters can have.

M -It was crisp, sharp and smooth. It is a medium bodied ale with a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a very nice beer. Although, I preferred Volume 1 - it was just easier to drink.

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Photo of rrski198
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: almost completely black with very little dark red hues around the bottom of the glass. Medium sized mocha to rust colored hear that disappeared quickly.

S: Smoked ham, burnt malt, toffee.

T: The smoked flavor (hickory) really takes center stage here. The flavor is excellent for the style, however, I would like to get a little more of the malt. Mild spicyness from the booze that lingers around nicely. The smoke really reminds me of smoked meats such as ribs or pork.

M: High carbonation and just the right mouth feel. Some porters leave me wanting something more in terms of body, however, this one is just right.

D: Overall for the style, this is a solid brew. Nicely balanced and a great body. I would purchase again.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with just a hint of brown around the edges into a tulip with a thin film of extremely dark mocha head. Intense aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and smoke.

Moderate carbonation and an ultra-smooth, creamy mouthfeel that was just a touch syrupy. Surprising (but mild) sweetness up front with traces of caramel, molasses, and milk chocolate before transitioning into roasted espresso and smoke on the long, slightly spicy bitter hop finish.

Extremely drinkable (well-hidden ABV) and exceptionally balanced. I expected to like this one but was very pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Enjoyed the subtle vanilla/wood elements in the smokiness that played well off the more traditional chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavors.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown that appears nearly black in the glass with one finger of sudsy tan head. Not bad.

Smell -- Woodsmoke, dark chocolate, coffee, plum-like esters. Pretty good.

Taste -- Well-roasted malt, coffee with cream, cocoa, and plum. The woodsmoke is gentle and earthy, which helps balance the malt sweetness and helps bring out the coffee-like flavors. Overall, rich and roasty.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with an abundance of prickly carb. Damn good.

Drinkability -- Quite good! The chocolatey malt sweetness and the tangy and acrid woodsmoke flavor balance one another quite well. A pleasant surprise for me, as I'm used to smoked Baltic Porters to be woefully smoky. Good job, Lefty!

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Smokes (no pun) this bottle was purchased at Binny's in Chicago today and was bottled on 29 Nov 10! That's fresh and a fast distribution network.

Cost: $10.49 for a six pack.

A: near opaque, deep, deep black-copper color, nice tan head dissipated to just clinging on the side of glass
S: very nice, deep roast grains with plum character, smokiness is evident but not overpowering, well done
T: very, very good - deep roasted malt, great smokiness, well balanced, earthy
M: great mouthfeel, velvety quality going down, nice balance and smoke is strong enough to give it justice
D: very for a fine winter day (like today) in Wisconsin where the temp is currently 7 degrees in my backyard

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Damn near black with a fingers worth of mocha colored head. Nice sticky lacing.

S- A good bold smokiness is immediately picked up but it sure isn't overwhelming. Roast roast roast. A bit of booziness is detected

T- Mesquite smokiness up front. The smoke taste in this porter outweighs the smokey scent After that I taste a lot of rich roasted coffee. A very roasty brew

M- Covers the palate pretty well. Its a a bit thin of a feel but still left me at a lose for words at first. Damn smooth for such a brew.

D- Because this brew tastes so rich and complex it might be hard to kill a whole six pack but I could drink it until my belly is full that's for sure

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavy roasted malts with good amounts of semi-sweet chocolate. Moderate amounts of smokiness waft in and out, intensifying as the beer warms. Hints of earthy hop aromas come into play as the beer warms as well.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with slightly sweet dark chocolate flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are smooth smoked malt flavors, more earthy than leather-like or meaty. Slight leafy hop flavors make an appearance before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was expecting a little more of this beer after last year's inaugural success but I was slightly disappointed. A solid beer but nothing special.

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Photo of mactrail
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasty and interesting dark beer.

Beautiful ruby chestnut color in the stubby chalice. Head is unremarkable but good carbonation flows well on the tongue. Excellent smoke flavor-- just a touch. Should be required drinking of any brewer contemplating a smoky style. Slightly woody, lots of burnt caramel flavors, hops evident but restrained. Definitely not an "Imperial" version, but very full of flavor.

Sharpness increases with a few sips. A hint more of malt wouldn't have hurt. But it does achieve a nice rich black flavor without any sourness or charcoal in the roast. Definitely a must taste for anyone who likes a different dark.

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Photo of chicano4craft
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Great Divide Willi glass. Black with a fingers worth of tan head. Some ruby highlights when held to light. Pretty nice.

There is some smoke in the nose without taking over. There's also roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Very inviting.

Nice balance of flavors. Everything in the nose is delivered in the taste. Just enough smoke. Nice bitter dark chocolate. Touch of molasses. Reminds me of their Smoke Jumper.

Good mouthfeel. This one wraps around the tongue and leaves you wanting more. I don't know the abv, but I find it highly drinkable.

Volume 1 was great and I didn't think this could live up to it. Left Hand really came through. Can't wait to head up to the brewery and try it on tap.

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Photo of Rayek
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Tulip. My bottle has a bottling date of 11/10/10, which makes this one a whopping four days old.

A: Deep garnet, almost black as my light has trouble penetrating the brew. A huge tan cap slowly falls to a patchwork blanket. Leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Obviously smoked, but not crazily so. The smoked malt mingles nicely with vinous black grape, cherry and currant aromas. A bit of molasses is at work too. There's an ever so slight alcohol tingle that rounds things out.

T: The nose falls seamlessly into the flavor. Again, the smoke is there but not too much so. Still, it exerts its presence more here than in the aroma with an almost mesquite bite. The molasses and dark fruits keep things interesting. Bitterness is low and slightly burnt. The beer gets a touch acidic in the finish. The smoke and molasses flavors linger on the palate. Alcohol adds just a bit of warmth going down, but is otherwise masked. Letting the beer warm a bit only aids the experience.

M: The syrupy body is very dense and thick. The carbonation feels right on.

D: Very, very nice. It was a cold night and this beer's warmth and heft made me a happy camper. I'm really glad I picked this one up.

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Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
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